9 Dec 2015, 10:25 — 8 min read
Lighthouse tourism is an unexplored territory in India. The country has a large number of heritage lighthouses which have been used only for navigation purposes till now. But according to the recent government announcement, around 78 lighthouses will be developed for tourism promotion.
The programme aims to provide employment and business opportunities to people of the area besides promoting tourism. The excitement was also seen on GlobalLinker’s Biz Forum where Ramesh Shirali, Director, technical and marketing, Libra Biotech, showed his interest in venturing into travel in tourism sector. A Vijayakumar, MD & Chairman of Vijaya Fishing Nets, then threw light on the concept of lighthouse tourism and invited him to go through the government’s project.
“I am a native of Kanyakumari. There are two lighthouse tourism projects by DGLL in Muttom and Kanyakumari. If anyone is interested, you can invest in this project. I can help them locally. Nearly 28 acres of land is available for construction of resorts and hotels. This project can also be done by joint venture also. Any friends interested to invest in it, please login in www.dgll.nic.in and for further information please contact me,” wrote A Vijayakumar.
With the government exploring new industries to boost the Indian economy, SMEs & business owners like A Vijayakumar see an emerging business opportunity and the power to collaborate.
Imagine watching a panoramic view of exotic locations, having a relaxing spa session by the seacoast or exploring the maritime museums or experimenting with seafood at a local restaurant in and around a lighthouse.
For decades, lighthouses in India have more or less remained a navigating guide for mariners and fishermen. The Ministry of Shipping, along with the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL), in an attempt to overhaul the tourism industry, has now drawn up an ambitious programme to develop 78 lighthouses in the country as centers of tourism in the first phase under Public Private Partnership (PPP).
Under this programme, water or adventure sports facilities, hotels and resorts, shopping complex, thematic restaurants, food courts, public utilities, observation deck. LASER shows, souvenir shops, spa & rejuvenation centres, amphitheaters among others are on the charts, according to a government release.
Promotion of Heritage Tourism At Lighthouses
Globally lighthouses are now becoming potential tourist attractions as they provide panoramic views of scenic locations, mostly on the coastline. In addition, many lighthouses, by themselves, attract visitors due to their status as historic structures or as landmarks and India has abundance of historic structures. Therefore, many countries have carried out initiatives to promote lighthouses as tourism destinations and are enhancing facilities for tourists.
On similar basis, DGLL & the MoS have proposed to revitalize the existing lighthouse facilities for alternative uses. The identified lighthouses are in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The project envisages benchmarking the project components & facilities to similar lighthouse developments across the world. The prime aim to promote lighthouse based tourism with the following development objective is:
Realising the immense potential of lighthouses in India to attract tourists, DGLL has decided to tap into the opportunities to promote lighthouse tourism. Taking examples from South Africa and Scotland, the countries which have a large number of lighthouses open for public, the presence of historic lighthouses in India could also act as a driver to attract tourists from across the globe.
Lighthouse tourism is in a nascent stage of development across the world. However, governments globally are fast realizing the latent potential in this type of tourism and are putting in great efforts to develop the segment.
The advantages behind creation of lighthouses into a tourism product are that it shall help in attracting tourists from across the world & locally and thereby create a source of revenue for the government, employment opportunities for local people, increase in commerce through purchase and sale of goods and services, increase in demand for accommodation, transportation, food and beverage etc.
Overcoming Road Blocks
Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India, said, "The Ministry of Shipping has taken up an ambitious plan to develop lighthouses dotting India’s vast coastline as new beacons of tourism. All over the world lighthouses enthrall tourists with their scenic and serene surroundings and rich maritime heritage. In India there is a vast tourism potential, which has largely remained untapped." He also said that the Shipping Ministry has already held road shows in Chennai, Kochi and Visakhapatnam and the outcome has been very encouraging, with 236 potential investors participating in them.
The minister said there have been some concerns expressed by investors, especially with respect to Coastal Regulation Zone clearance, security clearance, support from Ministry of Shipping in the form of subsidy etc. Gadkari admitted that there would be some road blocks while implementing this ambitious projects, but asserted that the government’s attitude will remain positive.
He said an inter-ministerial group comprising representatives of Ministry of Shipping, Tourism and Environment and also that of participating states will be set up to iron out problems if any.
Gadkari said, his ministry has already consulted the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding security clearance, as well as the Ministry of Environment with respect to forest and environment clearances. He informed the investors that environment clearance would be obtained on case to case basis.
He also added that the government is also expecting that development of these lighthouses as vibrant tourist spots may give a boost to local economy by generating additional employment as most of these lighthouses are located in the remote areas of the country.
Image Credit: www.pixabay.com
Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
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